The Laws of Yom Kippur
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
- One day (no decree of two days for Diaspora because of danger) - from just before sunset until definitely night the next day- three medium size stars can be seen.
- Honor of Yom Tov - self, clothing, environment.
- Candle lighting. Many also light Yahrzeit candles: "The soul of man is the candle of G-d."
- Begging forgiveness. The day only atones for sins between man and G-d. Sins against people require forgiveness from offended party in addition to Divine forgiveness. Offender must ask for forgiveness. Offended obligated to forgive (with certain exceptions).
- Eating heartily on the day before Yom Kippur. Enjoyment of this world for right reasons is as spiritual as fasting. Also pragmatic reason. Festive meal - challah etc.
- Stop eating before sunset - adding to Shabbat and Festivals.
- Prohibitions: "You shall afflict your soul..."; not suffering; ignoring the physical, focus on spiritual.
- Work - melacha - same as Shabbat
- Eating and drinking
- Washing (except direct cleansing of dirt)
- Anointing - creams, lotions etc.
- Leather or leather covered shoes
- Pikuach nefesh - Danger to life (even doubtful) overrides all prohibitions of Yom Kippur.
- Prayer - theme of repentance and forgiveness.
Kol Nidrei - All my vows. Custom of "permitting vows" on eve of Yom Kippur.
Service of the High Priest - Avodah at Musaf.
- Viduy - Confession to G-d of sins. (To G-d alone - not to another person)
- "Beating" heart
- In addition to morning, Musaf, afternoon and evening services
Ne'ilah - Closing of the gates - recited immediately prior to sunset.
Selichot and 13 attributes of mercy. Finishes with declarations of belief in G-d:
- Shma Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad
- Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuto L'olam Va'ed
- Hashem Hu Ha'elokim - "Hashem is G-d"